Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Day 5 Preview
by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing
The fifth day of boxing action at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will see the round of 16 competition for Team USA’s featherweight Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio) and middleweight Naomi Graham (Fayetteville, N.C.). Here is a closer look at the American’s opponents and when to expect to see them take to the ring.
Duke Ragan vs. Serik Temirzhanov/KAZ
After a somewhat wrestling match of a first bout saw Team USA’s Ragan win by a 3-2 decision over Samuel Kistohurry of France, the 4-0 professional boxer will meet Kazakhstan’s Serik Temirzhanov in and exciting round of 16 bout.
Temirzhanov, the 20th ranked boxer in these Olympics according to the Boxing Task Force Rankings, put on a dominating performance in his opening bout against Hungary’s Roland Galos that saw three judges’ score the bout 30-27 and the other two 30-25. Temirzhanov qualified to Tokyo with a third-place finish at the Asia and Oceanic Olympic Qualifier, and has international experience dating back as far as 2013, when he won the bronze medal at the Junior World Championships in the light flyweight category.
Ragan will step into the ring during the eighth bout of the first session (approx. 11:45 p.m. EST), which begins at 10:00 p.m. EST.
Naomi Graham vs. Zenfira Magomedalieva/ROC
Graham enters these Olympic Games ranked ninth in the BTF rankings and the top America’s middleweight boxer, earning her the third seed in her bracket. The 2018 World Championship bronze medalist and 2019 Pan American Games champion has been on a winning streak heading into this round of 16 bout with Zenfira Magomedalieva of the Russian Olympic Committee and will look to continue with another strong performance in her opening bout of these Olympics.
Magomedalieva, however, will not be an easy first round matchup, as she is a two-time World Champion, winning the 2019 light heavyweight title and the 2014 heavyweight title. With much of her success at higher weight classes, the two-time European Champion earned her place in Tokyo after finishing fourth at the European Qualifier in June and sits in the fifth spot of the BTF rankings.
Graham, who will make history when she steps into the ring as the first female Active Duty Military member to represent USA Boxing in the Olympic Games, will be the third bout of the second session (approx. 4:25 a.m.EST), which starts at 4:00 a.m. EST.
Photo Credit: Getty Images